Motorcycle protective clothing: protection from injury or just the weather?

de Rome, Liz, Ivers, Rebecca, Fitzharris, Michael, Du, Wei, Haworth, Narelle, Heritier, Stephane and Richardson, Drew 2011, Motorcycle protective clothing: protection from injury or just the weather?, Accident analysis and prevention, vol. 43, no. 6, pp. 1893-1900, doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2011.04.027.

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Title Motorcycle protective clothing: protection from injury or just the weather?
Author(s) de Rome, LizORCID iD for de Rome, Liz
Ivers, Rebecca
Fitzharris, Michael
Du, Wei
Haworth, Narelle
Heritier, Stephane
Richardson, Drew
Journal name Accident analysis and prevention
Volume number 43
Issue number 6
Start page 1893
End page 1900
Total pages 8
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2011-11
ISSN 0001-4575
Keyword(s) Accidents, Traffic
Back Injuries
Craniocerebral Trauma
Cross-Sectional Studies
Gloves, Protective
Middle Aged
Protective Clothing
Quality Control
Spinal Injuries
Wounds and Injuries
Young Adult
Summary BACKGROUND: Apart from helmets, little is known about the effectiveness of motorcycle protective clothing in reducing injuries in crashes. The study aimed to quantify the association between usage of motorcycle clothing and injury in crashes. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Cross-sectional analytic study. Crashed motorcyclists (n=212, 71% of identified eligible cases) were recruited through hospitals and motorcycle repair services. Data was obtained through structured face-to-face interviews. The main outcome was hospitalization and motorcycle crash-related injury. Poisson regression was used to estimate relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals for injury adjusting for potential confounders. RESULTS: Motorcyclists were significantly less likely to be admitted to hospital if they crashed wearing motorcycle jackets (RR=0.79, 95% CI: 0.69-0.91), pants (RR=0.49, 95% CI: 0.25-0.94), or gloves (RR=0.41, 95% CI: 0.26-0.66). When garments included fitted body armour there was a significantly reduced risk of injury to the upper body (RR=0.77, 95% CI: 0.66-0.89), hands and wrists (RR=0.55, 95% CI: 0.38-0.81), legs (RR=0.60, 95% CI: 0.40-0.90), feet and ankles (RR=0.54, 95% CI: 0.35-0.83). Non-motorcycle boots were also associated with a reduced risk of injury compared to shoes or joggers (RR=0.46, 95% CI: 0.28-0.75). No association between use of body armour and risk of fracture injuries was detected. A substantial proportion of motorcycle designed gloves (25.7%), jackets (29.7%) and pants (28.1%) were assessed to have failed due to material damage in the crash. CONCLUSIONS: Motorcycle protective clothing is associated with reduced risk and severity of crash related injury and hospitalization, particularly when fitted with body armour. The proportion of clothing items that failed under crash conditions indicates a need for improved quality control. While mandating usage of protective clothing is not recommended, consideration could be given to providing incentives for usage of protective clothing, such as tax exemptions for safety gear, health insurance premium reductions and rebates.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.aap.2011.04.027
Field of Research 1117 Public Health And Health Services
1507 Transportation And Freight Services
1701 Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 0 Not Applicable
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, Elsevier
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Institute for Frontier Materials
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